WEST WYOMING ‚?? District Judge Joseph Carmody swore in new council member Mary Ann Skoke at Monday‚??s council meeting.
Council appointed Skoke to fill the seat Daniel Gadomski vacated suddenly last month. Carmody also swore in new junior councilperson Adrienne Przbyla, a junior at Wyoming Area Secondary Center.
Resident Jay Bonito voiced his disapproval of Skoke‚??s appointment.
‚??I don‚??t ever want to hear you chastise someone for not coming to a meeting,‚?Ě he yelled. ‚??She doesn‚??t go to the meetings. She doesn‚??t know what‚??s going on.‚?Ě
After the meeting, council president Eileen Cipriani said Gadomski resigned because of a conflict of interest in a decision to reduce the compensation paid to the borough‚??s tax collector. Skoke, Walter Stevens and Bonito were the only candidates who applied for the vacant council seat.
Cipriani said the vacancy was advertised and all three candidates were interviewed at council‚??s work session last week. She said council chose Skoke because of her ‚??financial background‚?Ě and customer-service experience.
‚??She has a lot of positives,‚?Ě Cipriani said. ‚??It was a tough decision.‚?Ě
In a related matter, council voted 4-2 to change the compensation to the tax collector from 5 percent of taxes collected to a per-bill fee. Council members Daniel Grescavage and Gary Stavish voted against the change, and Skoke abstained.
The new rate, which will begin next year, will be $7 per bill, $6 in 2015, $5 in 2016 and $3.50 in 2017. Robert Connors, the borough‚??s current tax collector, will be up for re-election in May. The change in compensation won‚??t take place until January 2014, Cipriani said.
The borough‚??s revenue in regards to collections for services such as garbage and sanitation, Cipriani said, has improved greatly since 2009.
‚??With the exception of the Street Department salaries, expenses have declined,‚?Ě she said. ‚??Council members, the treasurer and the mayor have declined salaries in order to save money, and the use of part-time employees (has) saved the taxpayers significantly.‚?Ě
In other business, council announced the borough has become part of the West Side Council of Governments (COG). The borough will join eight other West Side municipalities, which include Wyoming Borough, Exeter Township, Swoyersville, Kingston, Larksville, Luzerne and Plymouth boroughs.